TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Kevin Durant sat in the front row. Bijan Robinson also was in the crowd, along with several current and former Arizona athletes.

The star-studded crowd filled McKale Center to get a glimpse of Bronny James and the Wildcats wanted to put on a show of their own.

Arizona won, but it was more gritty than graceful.

Caleb Love scored 20 points, Pelle Larsson added 13 and No. 12 Arizona beat Southern California 82-67 on Wednesday night for another bounce-back victory under coach Tommy Lloyd.

“Arizona basketball is a show,” Lloyd said. “I wish we would have played better for everybody tonight, but at the end of the day we got the result we wanted. It didn't feel great, but we did.”

Coming off a three-point loss at Washington State, the Wildcats (13-4, 4-2 Pac-12) overcame a nearly seven-minute stretch without a field goal to lead by 10 at halftime and stretched it to 19 midway through the second half.

Arizona had a second straight subpar shooting night, hitting 40% from the field after 35% against the Cougars, allowing short-handed USC to hang around. The Wildcats made up for it by scoring scored 22 second-chance points off 21 offensive rebounds to beat the Trojans for the 13th time in the last 14 games at McKale Center.

Arizona is 15-0 coming off a loss under Lloyd.

‘Offensively, we’ve got to go hard whether we're making shots or not," said Arizona's Keshad Johnson, who had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

The Trojans (8-10, 2-5) arrived in the desert on a two-game losing streak and missing their top two scorers. Boogie Ellis was out for the second straight game with a hand injury and freshman guard Isaiah Collier had hand surgery last week.

James tried to carry the Trojans, scoring nine of his 11 points in the first half despite being booed by Arizona's students every time he touched the ball.

Playing his 10th game since returning from cardiac arrest, James shot 5 of 11 and had six assists after scoring two points on a combined 0-for-14 shooting the previews three games.

“Without Boogie and Isaiah, our two primary lead guards, Bronny has done a nice job of being the primary ballhandler when he’s in the game and defending at a pretty good level,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. “I thought he started out very well tonight and we just need him to keep improving.”

The Wildcats got off to a torrid start to build an early 10-point lead before USC tripped them up by going to zone.

Unable to get good looks, Arizona went nearly seven minutes without a field goal as the Trojans trimmed the lead to four.

The Wildcats found a little bit of a rhythm late in the first half, using a 7-0 run to go up 45-35.

USC managed to keep Arizona within reach early in the first half before the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run to go up 64-46. The Trojans kept fighting despite missing two key players, but got no closer than 10 points.

DJ Rodman led USC with 16 points.

“I was proud of our guys. They competed they played hard,” Enfield said. “We made some mistakes, but we we outplayed Arizona in certain areas of the game and they outplayed us in certain areas of the game.”


Larsson went down with a left foot injury midway through the second half, slamming his hand on the floor before limping to the bench.

For someone who’s dealt with foot injuries in the past, it was a dicey moment.

“I think it scared me more than anything,” said Larsson, who had four rebounds, three assists, two steals while drawing numerous fouls.


USC: The Trojans have struggled at McKale Center and playing without their top two scorers made end their desert misery a nearly insurmountable task.

Arizona: The Wildcats were disjointed at both ends for much of the night, yet found a way to win yet another game coming off a loss under Lloyd.


USC: At Arizona State on Saturday.

Arizona: Hosts UCLA on Saturday.


AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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